Sports participation carries a significant risk of dental injuries. It is a common notion that dental damage may occur only when playing contact sports like hockey or rugby. However, it is not true. Many types of sports make you prone to sustaining injuries that affect your teeth and jaw. Fortunately, mouthguards are here to keep you safe while you enjoy playing your favorite sport. A mouth guard is the most effective way to prevent orofacial injuries. It is a relatively inexpensive and easily available oral health safety device. Keep reading to learn more about mouthguards here.

What Are Mouthguards?

Mouthguards are dental devices that work like a shield for your mouth. It protects your teeth, gums, tongue, jaw, and cheeks from trauma because of sports injuries. It also helps keep your orthodontic hardware in place when you are

What Are The Types Of Mouthguards?

Mouthguard has three types.

  • Stock: These are ready-to-wear and one-size-fits-all mouthguards available over the counter. Common materials used to make stock mouthguards include polyvinyl chloride, rubber, or a polyvinyl acetate copolymer 21. Since they may not fit well, these mouthguards offer insufficient protection against injuries and trauma. In addition, these are bulky, making breathing difficult. The only advantage of stock mouthguards is their cost, which is lower than any other type of mouthguard.
  • Boil-and-bite: How about making mouthguards at home? Boil-and-Bite mouth protectors are made using thermoplastic material. First, put thermoplastic in hot water and wait until it softens. Then, put it in your mouth and use your fingers to make it fit onto your teeth. When you feel that the mouthguard is in the correct position, bite down for about 20 seconds. Next, remove it gently and put it in cold water. The mouthguard will harden into the shape of your teeth and be ready to wear. If it does not fit well, repeat the steps to reshape and get the best fit. Wondering if thermoplastic is safe? Yes, thermoplastic is safe and used widely in dentistry. They are non-toxic, non-allergenic, and monomer-free. Boil-and-bite mouth guards offer a better fit than stock mouth guards. However, these are not durable, and the protection level is average.
  • Custom-fitted: This type of mouthguard is made by professionals for professionals. The dentist takes your teeth’s impression to customize a mouthguard that perfectly fits your teeth and mouth, allowing you to breathe easily and talk comfortably. These are made of thermoplastic polymer and provide the best fit and protection. Although costlier than the other two types of mouth protectors, customized mouth protectors are a cost-effective choice because of their durability, as they last for six months at least. Custom-fitted mouthguards should be your first choice if you are an amateur or a professional sportsperson. You may visit for more information on custom-made mouthguards.

How Do Mouth Guards Work?

A mouth guard is worn over your upper teeth while playing sports, especially those that require speed, contact, and projectile sports equipment. It forms a protective barrier between your teeth and the point of impact. When your mouth suffers a blow, the mouth guard redistributes the force of the impact equally throughout your mouth, so the intensity does not hurt one or two teeth, thus preventing an injury or a fracture.

That way, your tooth won’t come off if a cricket ball hits your mouth or when you are exchanging punches in the boxing ring. Besides, mouthguards minimize the possibility of a broken tooth or jaw fracture if you slip or fall while playing. A mouthguard also works well if you clench or ram your upper and lower teeth together while playing. An ideal mouthguard should be strong enough to withstand intense force and daily wear and tear. It should provide the same level of protection at all times. Besides, choose a lightweight mouthguard to eliminate obstructions while breathing and talking when wearing it.

How To Choose A Mouthguard?

Selecting a mouthguard depends on needs, budget, and urgency. For example, sportspersons need complete protection for their mouth. Therefore, customized mouthguards are perfect for them. However, they cost a bit higher initially and take a maximum of two weeks to get ready.

Regardless of the type of mouthguard you choose, here are a few points to remember while buying one.

  • Proper fit for maximum protection
  • Wear-and-tear resistant
  • Easy to clean
  • Should cover the dentition fully
  • Stay secured and comfortable
  • Physiologically suitable
  • Durable

When Do I Need To Wear Athletic Mouthguard?

You should wear a mouth guard while playing any contact sports. The American Dental Association recommends custom-made mouth guards for the following sports:

  • Acrobats
  • Basketball
  • Boxing
  • Field hockey
  • Football
  • Gymnastics
  • Handball
  • Ice hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Martial arts
  • Racquetball
  • Roller hockey
  • Rugby
  • Shot putting
  • Skateboarding
  • Skiing
  • Sky diving
  • Soccer
  • Squash
  • Surfing
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo
  • Weightlifting
  • Wrestling.

However, it is not a definitive list. Feel free to wear a mouth guard when a mouth or jaw injury is possible. For example, baseball and softball infielders are at an equal risk of orofacial trauma. Further, using mouthguards is not restricted to sports competitions. You should wear them during practice sessions or while playing recreational sports too.

How To Take Care Of A Mouth Guard?

Maintaining a mouth protector is easy. Here are some tips to remember.

  • Remove the mouthguard when not in use
  • Wear a mouthguard only after brushing and flossing your teeth
  • Clean your mouthguard according to your dentist’s instructions
  • Wash your mouthguard only with cool water as hot water may alter its fit
  • Air-dry mouthguards before putting them back in their case
  • Check for holes, tears, scratches, and dents after every use. Get a new mouthguard in case of wear and tear that affects its protection capability.
  • Visit your dentist if you feel that the fit of the mouthguard has changed
  • Keep them away from children and pets


Mouthguards are essential for your orofacial health. However, choosing the right mouthguard makes all the difference. Besides, mouthguards should be used by professional sportspersons as well as while playing a contact spot as a recreational activity.

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